Broken but beautiful – transformative power of art


Let’s make a pretty simple glass dish.

Cut one 5 inch square of pretty green & teal & white & aqua System 96 COE glass.

Cut another square.  Pick the prettiest side. Oops, I goofed – now I will have to piece it.

OK, use up the black stringer, since you are piecing things now.

That looks good – fire away!

500 degrees, 1 hour

 1000 degrees, 1 hour

Get sidetracked – uh-oh, 1800 degrees –

Glass is bubbling like lava –

Shut down the kiln, close the lid, walk away…

Peek next morning – no surprise –

Everything is in bits & pieces.

Great, colorful, curvy swirls of color –

Just recycle, reuse, repurpose…

Put bits on a black base, arrange,

Try it again.

Watch temp carefully – wait –

Open the lid & it’s breathtaking & beautiful!

Let it cool slowly, gently, wash & display.

Admire my work.

Next day, a big crack runs through –

Stress fracture in the glass.

I’ll glue it & clamp it, fix it –

It’s still so beautiful –

Like people, even a bit cracked,

Beautiful nonetheless.

We all have scars,

Stress fractures,

Even with a fairly solid base to build on.

Life is sometimes hot, hard work.

We are tried in the fire and made strong.

Not perfect, or without damage,

But beautiful in ways never imagined

Before the blaze.

By Kerry Ellen, 2009


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